Stewed apples without added sugar are healthy, versatile, tasty and have a low glycemic index which means they have a slower impact on blood sugar levels. In this post, I will share with you the 3 ways I stew my apples and give you numerous ideas of how you can enjoy them!
I love stewed fruit of all varieties, but there is just something wonderfully unique about stewed apples. It’s even more of a bonus that we have a very old Bramley apple tree that produces the perfect apple for stewing.
If you haven’t started stewing apples yet, I highly recommend it, as they are so versatile in both sweet and savoury dishes. Trust me there is so much more than being the star in your apple crumble (which is of course still up there with one of my top uses for them!)
In this post, I will share with you 3 of my favourite ways to make and use stewed apples without sugar but using a sugar alternative instead.
Why you need to start stewing apples
There are so many reasons why you need to start stewing your apples but here are a few to help convince you:
- An easy reward – These recipes use minimal ingredients and effort
- Low GI – Apples are also low GI, particularly Bramley apples, which can help towards more balanced blood sugar levels
- Adaptable – They have so many uses from breakfast to a snack, a sweet treat or dessert and even in savoury dishes as well.
- Natural sweetener – The addition of stewed apple also means it can act as a natural sweetener in your recipes.
- Everyone loves them – Ok maybe not everyone, but I think the vast majority love apples which is why they are such a popular fruit
Is stewed apple good for you?
Absolutely yes. Nothing is ever quite as good as simply eating fruit in its fresh, raw form but stewing apples is still a great way to enjoy their many nutritional benefits.
Nutritious – Apples are high in fibre, vitamin C, antioxidants and polyphenols (great for the gut). Cooking will simply decrease the amount. However, stewing apples will increase the pectin, which is a soluble starch.
The best apples to choose for stewed apples
Without a doubt, the best apples for stewing are Bramley apples. These are often sold as cooking apples as well.
This type of apple tends to be tart with a sharper flavour to them and is not really for eating as a raw apple. However, they shine best when cooked as they retain texture and flavour.
I have tried experimenting with lots of other varieties and they just don’t seem to stew in the same way as a Bramley. Some have even come out as rubbery little pieces, which is not a pleasant eating experience I can tell you!
Using Sugar Alternatives for Diabetics
In this recipe, I use a white sweetener, xylitol. This is a nutritive 1:1 substitute for sugar and I find it works really well in baking and cooking.
This is my sweetener of choice due to its low glycaemic index, it doesn’t have a funny taste profile and we found that it doesn’t cause a rise in blood glucose levels.
You could also use an erythritol-based sweetener if you prefer. This is also a 1:1 sugar replacement and doesn’t cause a rise in blood glucose levels, but I personally find it can alter the taste profile of your food.
You can find a list of my recommended products that I use on my shop page!
If you prefer to use other sweeteners like sucralose or stevia, remember to convert your quantity. Most brands have this information on their websites. And if you would like to read more on sugar substitutes and diabetes then make sure to read this post.
The world of sugar substitutes and type 1 diabetes can be confusing. This guide explores substitutes in the UK and diabetes management
However please also feel free to use good old-fashioned caster sugar if that is your preference. Just remember to carb count for it!
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different sweeteners and quantities in my sweet treat recipes. It may take a few attempts to find your preference as we all have different palates.
The 3 Ways I stew my apples
Simple -With no other flavours added, super simple and delicious!
Zesty – Using zesty citrus fruits to lift the tartness to another level!
Gingerbread – Warm with subtle spice, the ultimate stewed apple!
What you will need to make the stewed apples (no sugar)
The 2 ingredients used for the simple stewed apples will form your basic recipe. From this basic recipe, you can add any flavours and variations you like. My favourites are Zesty Apples and Gingerbread Apples.
Simple stewed apples
- Preferably Bramley apples
- A great source of fibre and vitamin C
- They also have a low glycemic index which means the carbs enter the bloodstream at a slower pace which helps to reduce the risk of blood sugar spikes.
- A natural nutritive sugar alternative
- It has a low glycemic index so does not raise blood sugar levels.
- We do not need to carb count xylitol
Zesty stewed apples
- Lemon or Lime Zest
- Adds a wonderful zesty and fresh hit to the apples
Gingerbread stewed apples
- Ginger wine
- A fortified wine made from a fermented blend of ginger, raisins, sugar and yeast
- Add a wonderful spicy warmth to the apples
- Ground Ginger
- Has a sweet and slightly peppery flavour that compliments the apples
- Fresh Ginger
- has a sweeter and more pungent flavour than the ground ginger
- Ginger is high in gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
How to make the perfect stewed apples
The method doesn’t really change for any of the 3 variations. You simply have to pop all the ingredients into a saucepan and on a medium to low heat and patiently wait for the delicious transformation to begin. Although it’s not that long 10-15 minutes usually does it.
Just ensure that you keep an eye on your apples as you don’t want them to burn. To prevent this they will need the occasional stir and the addition of a little extra water.
How to use your stewed apples
There really are so many uses for stewed apples but here is a list of some of my favourites:
- Breakfast – Add your apples to:
- On top of a hot bowl of porridge
- Overnight oats like OVERNIGHT OATS WITH STEWED APPLE
- A bowl of yoghurt with a good sprinkle of mixed nuts and seeds
- Baking – add the cooked apples to:
- Muffins like these APPLE CINNAMON MUFFINS
- Desserts – add the cooked apples to:
- Crumbles like APPLE CRUMBLE WITH OATS
- On top of filo pastry
- Served on their own simply with custard and/or Ice cream
- Savoury Dishes– use the apple as an accompaniment to:
- Sausage dishes
- Roast Pork
- or try this SAUSAGE, LENTIL, SQUASH AND APPLE TRAYBAKE which uses uncooked apple wedges
How to store
These stewed apples will happily keep in the fridge in an air-tight container for 4-5 days
You can also freeze the stewed apples which I find really handy. I simply batch cook my apples and then separate them into freezer bags, using different sizes based on how I want to use them.
Apples are a wonderful fruit, full of fibre, essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Heating the apples will, of course, alter their nutritional values, but they are still a very good addition to your overall health and diet.
Apples also have a low glycaemic index and load, on average around 39 which means that they will have a slower impact on blood sugar levels. The addition of fibre will also work to slow down the digestion and absorption of sugar
The overall carb count for a 100g serving of any of the 3 variations of stewed apples based on the ingredients we would count for is:
- 100g stewed apple no added sugar – 9.7g of carbs
Please note this carb count amount per portion is based on the standard ingredients listed above and may differ depending on what you use and how much you choose to eat.
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